Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2011

A Quick Update

Unfortunately I’m busy at the moment typing and reading non-stop.  A new update should be here by the end of the week!

On that note, though, I wanted to congratulate Brian for the Oscar competition win!  Thanks everyone for participating and keep tuned in for some more contests in the future!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

That time of the year again is here.  Here are some of my predictions of a very interesting race in many cases.

Just to make an enticing offer as well.  Here is my first contest as well!  Hope you enjoy and win a nice prize for your dutiful reading of the whole article.  Enjoy!

[Note: This list does not go through most of the technical categories, the short form films, and the foreign films as I, unfortunately, either lack the knowledge or the time to watch everything in time for the awards.  My apologies ahead of time!]

_______

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Expected Winner: The King’s Speech – Alexandre Desplat
Films that seem to sweep across the categories seem to also take the soundtrack crown.  Even though the Golden Globe winner was given to The Social Network, the actual nature of the situation is, as well be evident in latter categories, is the steam at which The King’s Speech is gaining in momentum and value.  Expect a battle between the two movies in many categories.  Desplat’s soundtrack, admittedly though, is soothing and regal and is a great classic soundtrack.

Wie’s Pick: 127 Hours – A.R. Rahman
Much like Rahman’s winning Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, his work with 127 Hours is energetic, spirited, and ethereal.  It complements the scenes quite well and becomes quite important to keep the film engaging and amazingly paced.  Rahman seems to have connected well with Boyle to understand not only the beats and notes necessary to create a melody filled with so many emotional highs and lows but also carve out that unique sound unlike any others on this list.

(Note: An unfortunate omission from all the nominations this award season for best soundtrack was Tron: Legacy, a successfully intriguing and zany trip from Daft Punk that mixes in club beats with orchestral compositions.  It’s a shame that most of the voting community overlooked this whether its because of the nature of the film itself or the techno mixture.)

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Expected Winner: Christian Bale – The Fighter
Christian Bale has been on a powerhouse of a tour this award season; sweeping all the awards for Best Supporting Actor so far.  With an amazing momentum and odd stacked in his favor, there is little to note that the Oscar voting community will vote any differently, even in this very well-rounded and diverse crowd of contenders.

Wie’s Pick: Christian Bale – The Fighter
…and to be honest, I cannot disagree with that decision.  The amazing line-up of contenders is a site to behold with surprise nominees like Renner being rightfully included.  However, Bale not only went through another insane physical transition for this part but plays both the life of the film and a side that many had not suspected of Bale in his acting career thus far.  Laid-back yet passionate; supportive yet delusional; and friendly yet cocky; it’s a role that is more than just ‘Oscar bait;’ Bale plays one of the best roles of his career thus far.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Expected Winner: Melissa Leo – The Fighter
Also much like the other supporting actor category is a diverse, healthy group of contenders here.  Still, expect Melissa Leo to take away the Oscar here as she has taken all the awards thus far in the award season, much like her co-star Bale.  After a strong role in Frozen River two years ago, Melissa Leo returns to the center stage to be the frontrunner in this category.  The role is, much like Bale’s, a showpiece of acting with a range of emotions and a gray-characterization.

Wie’s Pick: Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
Yet as much as I feel as wonderful of a performance as Leo gave in The Fighter, it felt, as much as the film did, to have perhaps just filled in the dots of what is expected of a great acting career.  Hailee Steinfeld, in my opinion, is not only the annual acting newcomer pick of the year but a wonderful and atypical actress.  Although surprising that she is in this category than with the others in the lead actress, her performance in True Grit was spectacular with lines that only seemed natural yet witty and engaging.  Especially being next to acting giants such as Jeff Bridges, her role was unforgettable.  Age and experience should never be a factor in choosing an exceptional role.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Expected Winner: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
Will the Oscars follow the trend of other awards this year as it usually does?  If it does, then it is not too difficult to say that Firth will be take the crown for his outstanding role in The King’s Speech, winning all the awards thus far excluding a few of the city-to-city critics panels.  Coming from a prior year of nominations from A Single Man, Firth is now the frontrunner in the contentious Social Network and King’s Speech standoff.  However, the race is tight because his acting showcase is one of the best of the year.  His stammering, timid, and restless George VI character left quite an impression in a grand and inspiring tale of overcoming one’s difficulties.  Firth is more than well-deserving of the nomination and possible Oscar gold.

Wie’s Pick: Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
Personally, though, I did love two roles more than even Firth’s.  Franco’s is one; an underrated actor who really came into his own this year with 127 Hours.  Yet I feel that Jesse Eisenberg is not only the best actor of the year but also the most memorable character of 2010.  It is not a question of whether he plays an accurate representation of Mark Zuckerberg but more is concerning how he plays the character set for him.  Eisenberg is immensely interesting and fascinating to watch; quick-talking, abrasive, and longing for love and friendship but perhaps in the only way one can with his intellect and his place in the society he set for him.  Here is a character that seems so far off from where many of us are in life yet so relatable in the basic struggles and trials he faces.  Eisenberg is a young actor that has a great career ahead of him and we, as an audience, are fortunate enough to witness one of his greatest roles in his career.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Expected Winner: Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Much like the other acting categories, Portman is the frontrunner here mostly because of her consistent wins throughout the other awards this season.  Her last big debut at the award circuit ring was for Closer back in 2005, and this seems to finally be her year to really get the traction for the Oscar gold.  Some are stating that with some negative press and vibes from No Strings Attached, there may be an upset.  Look for Bening to be the possible runner-up that may make a quiet comeback from behind with her win at the Golden Globe and the appreciation Hollywood has for The Kids Are All Right that they would want to congratulate in some way or form.  However, at this rate, it seems Portman has a fairly good chance of receiving her first statue.

Wie’s Pick: Natalie Portman – Black Swan
And perhaps rightly so.  Portman has always had the potential to be a great actress.  Graceful, innocent, smart, and charming were all the elements that were already there, yet a film that could push her into new territories and mix with those lighter emotions had the potential to be big for Portman.  That is exactly what Black Swan gave her the opportunity to pursue, and she flew magnificently both from a technical standpoint of her ballet training and her acting prowess.  Unsettling, cocky, sexy, and edgy were all the elements mixed with her original characteristics that made audiences really engaged into a very love-it or hate-it film that whatever stance one may have on the movie, all can agree that her performance is one of the best of the year.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Expected Winner: Toy Story 3
Pixar is king at the awards; rarely losing any year since the animated feature film category came into being.  This year seems no different with nearly all the awards going to Toy Story 3.  The large push from Disney this year is to not just sweep the category; it is to aim for the Best Picture gold as well.  Although the latter part of the dream will most likely not happen this year, as can be seen by trends and winners thus far, this year seems to be another win for Pixar.  As the end trilogy to one of the best animated films to date, parts of Toy Story 3 are expressive and genuine that very few companies, both live and animated, can only dream to emulate.

Wie’s Pick: How to Train Your Dargon
Dreamworks, I must admit, is being robbed this year.  How to Train Your Dragon was one of the year’s best 3D films that used it well into the film as well as being an original and engaging animated feature.  Smartly designed, well-animated, well-voiced, and well-rounded, it is a film that hit all the marks of satisfying everyone by not having to cater to adults with mature jokes or kids with sight gags.  Here was a film that continued Dreamworks trend into really maturing into the animated space with works that were meaningful, unique, and well-deserved of praise.  This year, I feel that it beats out Toy Story 3 as a whole, all things considered.

DIRECTING

Expected Winner: The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper
The obvious linkage of awards continues through to the Best Picture and Director which has consistently been The King’s Speech thus far.  A relative newcomer to the scene with an already stalwart piece of cinema; Hooper has created a British work that has been quite well looked upon both by critics and audiences for its strong characters, a dynamic plot, and a great atmosphere that sets it as one of the best structured films of the year.  Expect a pretty substantial win here for him.

Wie’s Pick: The Social Network – David Fincher
Of course, however, much of the fireworks that had originally went to Fincher has died out in recent weeks because of the competition from The King’s Speech.  However, out of these nominees, Fincher really should be applauded for making such a strange and aloof world as the creation of Facebook into an enjoyable and intriguing piece of work.  Its unrelenting with its plot and unforgettable characters to boot.  Overall, it’s a film of this century which works to continue to define this generation and will be looked upon for years to come, and Fincher should be applauded for his dynamic and interesting vision of what it means to be a friend on Facebook.

BEST PICTURE

Expected Winner: The King’s Speech
The King’s Speech is more than expected to take home the golden crown of the night.  With Hooper in tow along with Firth standing tall, expect this film to shine on Oscar night.  And this film is definitely has all the key areas covered.  Great and unforgettable acting; a plot that continues to intrigue and delight; a grand atmosphere with a triumphant finale.  It has all the points made out to be an Oscar winner and deservedly so.

Wie’s Pick: Inception
It’s unfortunate, though, that Christopher Nolan is not only blocked out of the Best Director race but also that Inception is poised to only win in the technical categories which is a shame.  Here is a film that not only stood tall with its unique premise but successfully merged a myriad of detailed plot points with some extraordinary set pieces and emotional core that never let go.  Perhaps its individual actors were not up to par with the best on this Oscar night and perhaps the film lingered too much in its complex web to be accessible and notable.  Perhaps the film lacks the deep emotional core that some of its competitors enjoy.  Yet Inception is a film that excels in being a film.  Creativity should be upheld in the industry as the standard; not one that is pushed out.  Inception is my film of the year in all respects and will forever dominate my mind with the power of an idea.

 

____

CONTEST:

Want to play along?  Make a list of your own predictions (only those listed here) along with the answer to the tie-breaking question (listed below) and email them to jediclarinet86@msn.com.  The one with the most predictions correct will win two tickets to any Regal Theaters.

Tie-Breaking Question: How many total Oscar awards will Inception and The King’s Speech each receive?

[Please consult the Oscars website for the full list of categories.]

(US only please.  Only 1 entry per person please.  Must complete all categories listed in this list along with the question below to be eligible.  Deadline is Feb. 27th, 2010 at 3pm PST.  Winner will be notified after the Oscars and presented with two gift passes to any Regal Theaters and will receive the prize via mail.  The owner has rights to forfeit and void any entries he deems illegitimate.  Please contact the email for any clarifications or points of inquiry.)


Full Categories on This List:

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

How to Train Your Dragon
John Powell

Inception
Hans Zimmer

The King’s Speech
Alexandre Desplat

127 Hours
A.R. Rahman

The Social Network
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Christian Bale
The Fighter

John Hawkes
Winter’s Bone

Jeremy Renner
The Town

Mark Ruffalo
The Kids Are All Right

Geoffrey Rush
The King’s Speech

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams
The Fighter

Helena Bonham Carter
The King’s Speech

Melissa Leo
The Fighter

Hailee Steinfeld
True Grit

Jacki Weaver
Animal Kingdom

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Javier Bardem
Biutiful

Jeff Bridges
True Grit

Jesse Eisenberg
The Social Network

Colin Firth
The King’s Speech

James Franco
127 Hours

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Annette Bening
The Kids Are All Right

Nicole Kidman
Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence
Winter’s Bone

Natalie Portman
Black Swan

Michelle Williams
Blue Valentine

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
How to Train Your Dragon

The Illusionist

Toy Story 3

DIRECTING
Black Swan
Darren Aronofsky

The Fighter
David O. Russell

The King’s Speech
Tom Hooper

The Social Network
David Fincher

True Grit
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

BEST PICTURE
Black Swan

The Fighter

Inception

The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

Read Full Post »